The Lightning Process

Esther Rantzen, right, and her daughter Emily in 2003. Emily credits the Lightning Process with helping her to relieve the symptoms of ME.

FOUR years ago Niamh Connolly, who suffered chronically from ME, made a decision that changed her life forever. Frustrated that even simple daily tasks left her exhausted and in pain, she searched for a cure and discovered the Lightning Process.

“Before doing the Lightning Process I was just coping, getting from day to day. I was very limited,’’ she explains. “But now I am in charge. I decide what I want to do. Instead of reacting to life I am making plans. I am doing what I want to do and I have the energy, which is amazing.’’ Connolly has since trained as a practitioner of the process.

So what is the Lighting Process? It was devised by Phil Parker, a British osteopath and personal development advisor, and is a self-help technique that people learn during a three-day programme. According to Parker, it is particularly effective for people suffering from ME, MS, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions and low-self esteem.

Success stories include Esther Rantzen’s daughter Emily, and Louise Healy, the wife of the former England rugby international Austin, who both suffered from ME for many years.

“Having seen the Lightning Process in action, I am convinced it is the most powerful way to make rapid changes in our life,’’ says Austin Healy.

Parker states that at the end of the three-day programme, 80% of people say they no longer have the issues that they started with.

“It is a way of thinking. We are not saying we will fix you or cure you, but that these are the tools that people have found really useful to resolve their conditions,’’ he says.

The “tools’’ are simply to learn what thoughts trigger the disruption and stress in the body — that excessive adrenaline rush that causes such an imbalance in the body.

The person then has to learn to calm the body through breathing, and tell the brain to ‘stop’ thinking these negative thoughts.

The next step is to think new, positive thoughts. Instead of worrying that you can’t do things because you feel unwell, imagine feeling well and carrying out that activity. This should then stimulate endorphins, which make you feel good, rather than the stress hormones like adrenaline.

For Connolly, who had suffered from ME for 12 years, she learnt that her trigger was her daily routine of checking for symptoms.

“I used to talk about my energy as if it was a fuel tank. I would get up and say ‘I have a quarter tank of fuel’ and that I needed to be careful with it so I didn’t use up all my energy. So every time I found myself engaging in this unhelpful thinking I would use the Lightning Process.”

¦ An Introduction to the Lightning Process by Phil Parker is published by Hay House

¦ A free information seminar about the Lightning Process on will be held on Sunday, Nov 11, at the Skylon Hotel, Dublin. www.truenorthpractice.ie.

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